The Pedestal of the Heart
Some Background – Pedestal of Our Hearts
It’s my opinion that we all have a pedestal in our hearts: a place of prominence and devotion. It’s a hidden, deep place in our hearts where we want to pour out unconditional love and focus. (This could be called worship.) It’s also my opinion, that as human beings, we have a driving need that this position MUST be filled at-all-times. If not filled, I believe, we are looking and on-the-hunt-for something to fill it with. If delayed expendably, we can struggle internally into something of a downward spiral. Desperation can make us fill this spot with highly unhelpful things. I also believe, that God gives us the freedom to choose what or whom we put in this place of prominence, but that God meant for this place to be filled by Himself, alone, creating the sense of intimacy and permanency that we all crave.
Second-Rate Players (blessings) = Distractions
I believe that there are a lot of things in this world that are angling for this prominent position, and that the enemy of our soul likes it this way, as it creates a wonderful distraction from God. These distractions or second-rate players, could be many things; to name a few: key relationships, love interests, business partners, people’s opinions of you, achievement, money, pride-fulfilling-anything, beauty/strength/looks, or money. I don’t think these things, in themselves, are bad; but I do believe God intended these to be: blessings and supporting roles to his lead, at best. Because these “supporting roles” are—typically—easily and physically seen, and God is not, I think they are especially tempting characters to replace God with on the pedestal of the heart.
Long-Term Position – Wanted
If the nature of this spot, on the pedestal, is naturally and inherently a position for worship, it is not safe to have anyone but God positioned there. Fear of losing the idol will tempt you to cower at holding it accountable. This is not a natural place of accountability. This is a place of unquestioning trust, unquestioning love. This is a place not meant for human flesh or the promise of further acquisition of accomplishment (an ever-changing target). Only God has the character worthy enough and spotless enough to hold this position long-term.
The Spot on the Pedestal: The Lead Role
The propensity to idolize diminishes with each person that fails you or each goal that does not get accomplished. (Perhaps this is mid-life crisis in a nut-shell; when all of the key—formerly reliable—players come tumbling down.) The pedestal, eventually, gets kicked out from under each and every one. Cracked teeth from the kick, the idolized suddenly looks like a loser. (But they were never meant to be in that position anyway.) There is pain in this mind-numbing realization of the misjudgments of our affections and the removing of the aura of the idolized.
KICK. KICK. KICK.
I’m sorry to say; but this is the way God meant it. We were meant to feel the diminishing quality within each idol. This hurts – on purpose. This smarting pain is meant to bring each of us to God and to put Him in the right place in our lives and hearts.
Expectations of Repeated Goodness
Parents, teachers, spouses, friends; they were all created to meet needs, show love, and in one subset function: to simply let us down. Here’s a shocker: You were MEANT to feel the loss of being let down by even the strongest, kindest, and most reliable people in your life (even Christian people). Count on it.
God designed people, work, nature, fun: to bring you comfort and joy, but not to be held under the responsibility to do so always. This expectation is smothering and unfair to you and whoever you try and put it on. These people or avenues of success, are simply instruments in God’s hand, to bless you, and sometimes they are razor sharp to teach you.
Small Roles Can Still be Important Roles
Some will let you down in large ways, and others in small. Let the small, heart-diminishing disappointments, be warnings to clue you into the idea that maybe you are putting too much importance on this someone or something. Maybe God never meant for them to play this role, but a smaller one; perhaps, even, an important one.
Thankfulness Becomes Part of the Cure
Trust, love, give, get, but give thanks to God for that blessing. Do not be hooked again. After one idolized disappointment, be sure that an another “supporting actor” will come along again and promise you the world of fulfillment, but…
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Remember, these losses are ultimately God’s greater-goodness trying to lead our stubborn hearts to a new place of freedom. This is not the time to become bitter for losing the idol. This will only prolong your pain and set you up for failure with another idol. It’s the time to: eat some humble pie, feel the groanings of your pain with God, and put God in his proper place.
Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol..